Thomas Kelly – @Tommyktufc

TK blogs about the players released this week by TUFC

Billy Waters

NL Stats 20-21: League – Played 26, Goals 6, Bookings 1, Red Cards 0, Minutes 1199

Play-Offs – Played 2, Goals 0, Bookings 0, Minutes 56

I won’t lie, I was surprised to see Billy’s name on the released list. I think he is a useful player on his day. His goals versus Eastleigh and Chesterfield were pure class and you know what you are going to get with him. Billy will chase down everything and give it his all. I think Gary viewed him like Benji, a fresh pair of legs you want to bring on in the last 15-20 minutes of games to get at the defence when the legs start to get heavy. I think Billy is good enough to establish himself again at National League level and I will be intrigued to see where he goes to next. It will be difficult for him and us to look back at his final game in a Torquay shirt, which saw him missing a glorious chance just before injury time and then slipping on his penalty, but he gave it his all and I wish the lad all the best. 

Josh Umerah

NL Stats 20-21: League – Played 27, Goals 1, Bookings 2, Red Cards 1, Minutes 987

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ve never seen a player be on the end of so many poor refereeing decisions than Josh Umerah. From the red card at home to Notts where the ref actually gave us a free kick first before changing his mind, to jumping up for the ball and being adjudged to have fouled his man. I do feel for Josh a bit. Ultimately, scoring just one league goal this season and his lack of game appearances as the season went on, I think most of us weren’t surprised to see his name on the released list.  Hopefully Josh can find a club where he can settle in and get some of his confidence back. I think there’s a good player there if he can develop and sadly it just didn’t work out for him at Plainmoor.

Liam Davis

Oh Liam. Our longest serving player up until now. A key figure in our NLS championship winning squad, suffered sustained fractures and ruptured ligaments to his left ankle in our FA Cup 1st round loss at Maidstone back in 2019 in his 100th appearance for the club. Despite messages of optimism that things were going well in the recovery in late summer last year, (taken from his Instagram account just a few days ago), “circumstances surrounding the injury, surgery and other things have made it difficult for myself to return back to full fitness for the club.”

I think it’s fair to say that Liam is a talented player and would have easily been involved in the majority of the season had he not been injured. It’s a shame that his time at the club has ended in such a way but hopefully in the not too distant future he is able to get involved in football again. He is a born leader and I will look back at his Torquay career fondly, especially in our title winning NLS season. Thank you Liam for your part in our success in the Gary Johnson era and best of luck in the future champ.

Andrew Nelson

Moves from Dundee to Torquay, plays a pre-season game, suffers a knee injury that takes him out for the whole season, gets released without even playing a league game in Yellow. The summary of Andrew Nelsons career at TQ1.

It’s a shame because we will never know how good of a player he could have been for us, whether he would have picked up the goals when Wright got injured, it will always be a mystery. Hopefully he is able to re-establish himself at another club going forward, I suppose it comes down to whether there is a club at a completive level willing to take a punt on someone who has been out for a long time due to injury. I will be keeping an eye on his progress for sure.

Matt Buse

NL Stats 20-21: League – Played 13, Goals 0, Bookings 2, Red Cards 0, Minutes 468

Play-Offs – Played 2, Goals 0, Bookings 0, Minutes 28

Matt Buse will have had better weeks. I can’t be too critical of Busey for missing the final penalty of the shoot-out, it takes a lot of bottle in such a high pressure moment to step forward and take a penalty, especially when it goes to sudden death. Keep your head up Matt.

Signed from Taunton in 2019, Matt made his Gulls debut in our 4-2 win over Harrogate Town, albeit as a 86th minute substitute. His first goal for the Gulls came right at the death in a 2-1 home win over AFC Fylde, he won the NL Player of the month award in October 2019 and featured fifteen times in the starting eleven & made two sub appearances before Covid stopped the 19/20 season.

Buse was loaned out twice, first to Bath City & then to Chippenham Town before returning in February this year due to the null and void of the NLS. Buse’s appearance in yellow were mostly made from the bench, starting just five times in Gary’s starting eleven. I think with games under his belt, he could definitely establish himself in the National League in the future. I’ve seen nothing but positive messages sent to him on social media and I know he will bounce back stronger from this than ever before. Best of luck Busey!

Gary Warren

NL Stats 20-21: League – Played 17, Goals 1, Bookings 4, Red Cards 0, Minutes 812

His team-mates interview on the Torquay United livestream definitely wins my interview of the season award. Comical gold from the wig to his sense of humour. It’s evident that Gary “Dawlish” Warren is a fun person to be around.

Back in his second stint for the Gulls, he ended an eight year goal drought, scoring the final goal in our 5-0 demolition of Hartlepool earlier in the season, but was another victim to the injury curse that had loomed over Plainmoor for the last two years and missed almost three months of action from late January. His final appearance for the club was away at Chesterfield and since then has found himself out of the squad as other players started returning from injury.

I think it’s important to stress that Gary will have helped the development of players such as Sherring & Lewis at the back and deep down I think he knew what his role was going to be when he signed on at the start of the season. Help develop the younger players, whilst getting a few games in as well. In the games he did play, I think Gary handled himself very well. I hope he’ll continue in some capacity in football going forward. I think there’s still at least a season left in him and a club like Bath or Tivy might be a good move going forward. Another who I wish the very best for.

JJ Evans & Owen Price

Both South Devon College students, the two youngsters impressed Gary Johnson enough to be offered professional contracts ahead of the 2020/21 season. Both players would feature in under 18 matches for the Yellows with Price making the bench for the Gulls trip to FC Halifax for the first time. He would also appear on the bench for games against Dagenham (h), Chesham (a), Weymouth (h), Wealdstone (h) & Woking (a) in the Trophy. He was an unused sub in all those matches.

JJ would feature for Buckland Athletic on loan on a month’s loan, scoring against Bitton AFC on debut. He would also join Price on the bench in the Gulls FA Trophy game away at Chesham and both players receiving England Colleges caps.

Hopefully both these lads can continue their development in the sport and have success in the future. I’m sure they will have learnt so much from their time at the club under the guidance of Gary, Aaron & Chris and although naturally disappointed to be leaving, hopefully they have bright futures ahead of them.

COYY – Thomas




INSTAGRAM – torquaytalk





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